Category Archives: Paranoia

Takeaway seating areas make me sad

This is what London looks like by the way.

There are usually two. Small tables, made of cheap metal, chairs made of the same material.

I cannot be certain, but I believe that takeaway owners provide this dining facility for those busy city slicker types who are always on the go and don’t have time to take their spine meat wrap back to the office because they are late for the big meeting.

But when I look at the seating areas in takeaways I don’t see design catering to a fast paced urban lifestyle. I see something else.

I imagine a drastic misinterpretation of the purpose of these window seats. Much like the scene in Taxi Driver where Travis takes that woman to a porno theatre, I imagine a tragic character who believes that this is what people mean when they say ‘going for a meal’.

I can see him picking up a woman he has met on one of those websites, her face full of hope that he might be the one. He is smiling to himself, excited at the great time they are going to have. Then they pull up at Kennedy Fried Chicken and she thinks there has been some mistake.

They sit down. Maybe this is some kind of joke. Should she walk out? Pretend to get a phone call from a sick relative?

He has  no idea how awkward this is for her. He doesn’t understand. He tries to make a joke ‘I’ll ask for the menus shall I?’. But they don’t need menus! They can see the different chicken and chips combinations on the illuminated sign above the counter!

Out of sheer stress she breaks down into tears, sobbing painfully onto the freshly mopped floor.

Then the man frying the chicken comes from behind the counter and gives her a napkin to dry her eyes with and a free Pepsi to help cheer her up.

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Mushrooms are evil.

Right now, deep in the pit of my belly, there are mushrooms.

I ate them some hours ago, a minor component of the leftover cheese and ham omelette I prepared for last night’s evening meal. You might think they had been digested by now, nothing more left of them than fungal nutrients in my bloodstream. But I am certain they are still sitting there. Trying to tell me something.

Only a few months ago I would never have voluntarily put a mushroom anywhere near my mouth. I have no idea when the phobia began. I was never attacked by a crazed mushroom as a child or given them in the place of birthday and Christmas presents every year by strange parents. My family as a whole probably has no strong feelings towards them either way. If you asked my father what he thought of mushrooms he would probably say, ‘Mmm, mushrooms. They’re quite nice.’

But they do not look quite nice, do they? Not if you really look at them.

Their bulbous little heads remind me of grotesque alien phalluses that squeeze their way out of the Earth in early morning, after the soil has had itself a dirty dream. That that they wriggle back into the ground when the sun begins to shine does nothing to redeem their reputation with me, I have never been able to trust anything that is scared of sunlight. Owls excluded.

But owls are beautiful, majestic creatures that swoop silently through the darkness, occasionally hooting to set the mood for campers. They do not have horrible little spores, Satan’s gills you could call them, ribbing their necks like accordions of dead flesh. Owls do not grow like a rash on the trunks of trees or by the base of the toilet in my friend’s flat in Edinburgh. Although admittedly I would like to see that.

Even their name fills me with revulsion. Mush Room. ‘Would you care to join me in the Mush Room?’ I suspect there are few who would enter such a place.

Growing up in a household where whimsical culinary objections fell on deaf ears, I learned to pick the creatures out of any meal they found their way into. So skilled with a fork I became, that no matter how creamy the Carbonara or sticky the egg noodles, at the end of every meal my plate would contain a little pile of fungi, stacked up like coal in a dock yard.

I left home and started cooking food for myself, safe in the knowledge that I would never need to eat a mushroom again. Unless, of course, I was eating food prepared by someone else. I would still play my game of discreetly weeding them from the rest of my dish, usually trying to hide them under a napkin so my host would not think me ungrateful. But during these occasions I began to notice a pattern emerging.

Gravy cooked with mushrooms tasted meatier, steaks were juicier and it turned out, much to my horror, that mushroom soup is really rather nice. Could it be that I had been wrong all these years? It was time to find out.

I cannot really remember dicing them up, I probably had my eyes closed every moment they were in my hands. I threw them in the pan with some garlic and an egg and prodded them cautiously with a spatula in case they tried to attack. Between two pieces of toast and virtually cremated, I could not taste any of their squidgy slimy horridness. Before I knew it the plate was bare and I was a mushroom eater. But afterwards something did not feel quite right.

A week later I was at the helm of an ambitious Sunday roast operation. The chicken was crackling away in the oven and the vegetables were all but steamed. The gravy powder, stock and flour however were nowhere to be seen. Instead, sitting silently in the fridge like the last child to be picked for the football team, were the mushrooms.

I remember feeling intense pleasure slicing through them, a samurai cutting up little clouds, the pile on the chopping board growing higher and higher. Huge chunks of my new friends were soon simmering away in a mixture of cream and wine and mustard. A tiny taste and they were sitting in a makeshift gravy boat on the table.

After politely gorging myself I sat back to reflect on the progress I had made. Had I transformed from a mushroom misanthropist to fully-fledged fungi fanatic? As I was mulling this over I began to feel rather strange. My bulging belly churning away, moaning and braying beneath my mustard splattered shirt. I excused myself from the table and went for a lie down in the darkness.

I lay still on the bed and tried to focus on anything but the intergalactic penises floating around inside me. But it was no use. I could feel the chewed up mushrooms reforming, their spores growing longer into creeping tendrils, feeling around my intestines. The little fungi were floating around my stomach like glowing jellyfish, pushing against the sides of my abdomen, humming like monks, communicating with their home planet, trying to escape. I have never had a worse sleep in my life.

The next day I decided to keep these observations to myself, lest I be judged as a madman. I would just go about my business and possibly sneak off to the hospital to get a quick stomach pump if the problem persisted. I vowed privately to never eat another mushroom again. Until last night.

When preparing the aforementioned omelette I found I was running low on suitable ingredients. I briefly toyed with the idea of adding sardines but the thought of them frying in egg quickly put an end to that. As I was whisking up the rest of the mixture my guest decided to poke around and look for something to make a salad with. After reaching deep into the fridge, she triumphantly pulled out an arm. ‘Look what I have found, a mushroom.’

I continued whisking in silence as she chopped up the bastard and threw him into the pan. Clearly one of the little boys had not made the football team first time around and had been sitting in the salad box like an unused substitute. I would be OK though, I am a master at avoiding them. I could find and discard every single piece, even if they were chopped up in an omelette.

Unless of course I forget that they were there, which is what I did this morning as I guzzled down the leftovers for breakfast.

Now I am at their mercy, hoping that they decide to leave my system naturally rather than wriggle through my body and wrap their tentacles around my brain, taking my body hostage for their own sinister deeds. Only time will tell.

But if you are walking through the woods one early morning and see me poking my head from the soil, growing on the side of a tree or at the base of the toilet in my friend’s flat in Edinburgh, please do not pick me and eat me.

Please?

 

Things that keep me awake at night

Warning! This post contains spoilers. If you have not seen these films I recommend you watch them before reading on. 

I have trouble sleeping.

Ever since I was a young whippersnapper I have lain awake at night, tossing and turning, mulling over imaginary problems occurring in places that do not exist. Unless I have indulged in too much wine or suffered a bout of sustained exercise, I regularly find myself buried beneath my sheets, dawn fast approaching, drowning in endless thought.

Sometimes my mental voyages transport me to the world of Hollywood. Here I become trapped inside tragic motion pictures, taking on the role of a doomed hero, desperately trying to avoid the fate which lies in store for them. Surely with the hindsight of a sleep deprived maniac I can figure out a path that would lead them to safety and me to a night of sound sleep?

But sometimes there is no way out of the maze.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

The 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers is by far my favourite. The grey emptiness of the urban landscape and ginger bristliness of Sutherland’s moustache are perfect ingredients for a slow, suffocating horror film. It could be speculated that this picture carries metaphor for madness, narcissism and McCarthy-era communist paranoia.  It is also an ideal paradigm to solve under your pillow at 4am.

It has now been confirmed that you are not insane and the people you hold dear really have had their identities stolen by emotionless alien forms. You are facing a difficult struggle. By remaining calm and moving silently amongst these clones you can attempt to formulate a plan for escape. The slightest shudder of fear and you will be caught.

You could steal a car, attempt to drive to an un-colonised town and warn them of what is coming. You might search for a cure that would bring your friends back to life. Or you may wish to find a safe place to hide, like the bed you are now sleeping in, just to preserve your freedom for a few more hours. Is that your girlfriend who lies next to you? It looks like her…

 The Wicker Man

What is particularly disturbing about this story is the idea that the residents of the island have spent a couple of days just trying to fuck with your head. You are the butt of an obscenely sick joke that everybody is in on. It will not affect the outcome of their sacrificial offering that you have spent two days trying to solve a fictional murder. It was just something to keep them amused before you burn.

However, as you nibble on your bedclothes and unearth dead rabbits from shallow graves, you have a distinct advantage over poor Sergeant Howie. You know what will happen. You can change the future. At least you think you can.

It is around 5am when I am transported to that desolate rock. I usually become conscious of my fate on the morning of the May Day festival. My plane has been sabotaged and I have no means of communication with the civilised world. The only way of escaping the island is by the yacht moored at the harbour. But I have no idea how to sail and a boat of such size can surely not be manned alone. I could hide there and wait, but it would be the first place the heathen savages would look for me.

Instead, I decide the only possibility of gaining control of these creatures is to take hostage their leader, Lord Summerisle. As they search the island for me I manage to sneak up to his house on the hill and hide in the one place they will never think of, tucked up within the sheets of his bed. After a night long search he finally retires to his bedroom, thinking I had perhaps thrown myself off the cliff and drowned in the sea. I hear his hand turn the doorknob and he has no idea that I am in here waiting for him. Or does he?

How to unblock a Lebanese toilet: Survival tips

Pretext- Why might your toilet be blocked?

The toilets and related plumbing in Lebanon are notoriously fragile. Even the most modern establishments request that you ‘kindly’ put all tissue paper in a small bin next to the toilet. Given this fact, it would be little surprise that your toilet might choke up if you accidentally flushed a stripy H&M sock down the pan. The task of retrieving the sock may become infinitely more disgusting if you have just tried to flush pieces of lettuce rejected by your pet tortoise, now floating around the bowl like ships lost at sea. So what can you do?

Step 1: Flush again

You may as well give this a go. Anything to avoid having to put your hand in there. Maybe you were worrying about nothing. Or maybe the toilet will groan like a dyeing elephant and fill up to the brink with more filthy water. It’s time to change out of your work clothes.

Step 2: Get the rubber gloves on

Since you cannot find any clothes you are prepared to splash toilet juice on you are now probably in your underwear. Pull on the rubber gloves (I would suggest pink but yellow will suffice) and say a little prayer to Mazu, Chinese Goddess of water and protector of sailors. You are going to need the help.

Step 3: Dive in.

As your gloved hand slides further and further into the bowl your level of revulsion and disgust will rise exponentially. Do not worry about this, it is about to get worse. A lot worse. As you finally touch the bottom of bowl you will realize that the sock has been sucked right up into the U-bend. Creeping further into the unknown you will understandably be afraid that some toilet beast is lurking, waiting to nibble your fingers off. You lean in too far and the glove fills up with water.

Step 4: Retreat

Pulling off the glove and rushing to the sink to wash your hand, you will feel the urge to sit and cry on the bathroom floor for a while. You may as well. You deserve a break.

Step 5: Bring in the artillery

The difference between men and monkeys comes down to our use of tools. It’s true that monkeys don’t wear H&M socks and so would never be in this mess in the first place, but that’s not the point. It’s time to improvise. In your closet there are probably some wire coat hangers. Get one out and unravel it. Poking around the toilet for a while will give you an idea of the complex shape of the piping system. Sculpt the hanger into a shape that takes into account the various twists and turns. Catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, in your underwear twisting a piece of wire with tears drying on your face. Cry a bit more.

Step 6: Mission Impossible

Pushing the wire round invisible bends in the pipe is like performing keyhole surgery, except far more difficult. You hit a wall, twist your arm and push on. The wire keeps going, further and further into the abyss. You reach too far and the glove fills with water again. Except this time you don’t even care. You will defeat the toilet even if it kills you. Just when you feel like you might have to actually climb into the bowl, Trainspotting style, the hook on the end of the wire catches something. A bite of the end of the line? You pull back with all your strength but it is struggling. Just, a bit, more…

Step 7: Self destruct

Whatever was on the end of your coat hanger managed to get away. You have been defeated. There is nothing else left to do. You will flush the toilet for a final time and the subsequent flood will wash you away. Goodbye stool world!

But the toilet is spluttering, shuddering, shaking. It nearly rocks itself off your bathroom floor, but instead the flush roars and washes everything from the pan. You must have dislodged the sock with your efforts. It is now in a better place. You have won. And that deserves a drink.

Bottoms up!

Frederique: A short story


Frederique 

As I sat in the taxi home from the office I thought about what I would watch whilst eating my dinner. There was the action thriller about a sushi delivery boy who secretly worked for the CIA. That sounded shit. There was the French existential drivel I had been given by a colleague I wanted to sleep with. I could probably just pretend I had watched that, she wouldn’t even know the difference. And there was the documentary about a heroin addicted Jazz musician who had choked to death on the reed of his own clarinet. The traffic was really bad and the taxi stunk of cigarette smoke, so I paid the driver and walked the rest of the way home.

Back in the flat I reheated last night’s left-over pasta and thumbed through the movies, finally deciding to watch my collection of tropical fish float round their tank, hoping I could finally catch which one it was that had been eating the others. I left my dish in the sink and took the whisky from the cupboard.

As the first drops of scotch roused the ulcer in my stomach, I turned on my computer and checked my emails for the millionth time that day. Inbox 1. I knew that this was probably a request to try penis enlargement pills (they don’t work by the way) or a forwarded email with a hilarious picture of a kitten doing something hilarious.

The message was a reply to a recent article of mine about the decline of a local artistic movement. The author of the email, a Mr Frederique Haley, was apparently very upset about a passing reference I had made as a metaphor regarding a famous bank robbery that had happened in the region some years ago.

He told me he his father had been killed as an innocent bystander in the following shoot out with police and that I was rather irresponsible for using the event to describe a showdown between local beat-box vocalists.

Now it might had been my ulcer talking, probably more likely the whisky, but I felt a deep sense of regret that I had offended Mr Haley. How it must of hurt him and brought back terrible memories to hear the night of his father’s death being compared to a group of young men in trousers several sizes too big imitate engine noises with their larynxes to impress a crowd of teenage girls. I wrote back immediately, apologising profusely for my carelessness.

The next day at work I read some critiques about the constipated French film I hadn’t watched and tried to impress my attractive colleague. She confessed to me that she had been given the film by some guy who wanted to sleep with her and hadn’t actually watched it, but thought that it would be something I would be ‘into’. She resumed her online conversation with a man who probably had a body that looked like it had just come out of an oven and I slipped away back to my desk.

My heart began to beat a little faster when I saw a reply from Frederique in my inbox. Perhaps he had not been sufficiently satisfied, offended even, by my apology. Maybe he intended to take the issue up with Editor. Christ I didn’t need that. I was on my last legs in this place as it was. I held my breath as I opened the mail and didn’t release it until I had read the reply through at least three times.

Apparently Frederique Haley hadn’t actually been offended by my article. Because, apparently, Frederique Haley didn’t exist. Rather than explain what sat before me I have decided to just reproduce it in full.

————————–

‘Look, I am sorry to have alarmed you yesterday.

I was not actually upset about the robbery thing.

I hadn’t even heard of it until I read your article.

I just wanted to write to you because I love your work, really.

I didn’t want you to think I am some kind of stupid groupie.

I am sure you have loads of those*

You are gonna think I am a total madwoman.

Sorry again.

Sofia

————————–

(*author’s note- I don’t)

I sat for a while trying to decide what I thought about this letter and whether or not I should write back. But fortunately my editor arrived at my desk and threw an article I had written, but he had not read, in my face and told me it was a piece of shit. I don’t think five minutes passed that whole day without me thinking about Sofia.

When  got home I ignored the dishes and the tropical fish (despite noticing that yet another one had been devoured whole) and went straight to my computer. I had read her email so many times at work that I knew it by heart. I spent at least an hour editing my reply, meticulously analysing every line, deleting it, then writing it again.

I laboured to make my response sound casual, I didn’t want to spoil her fantasy that there were hoards of other women hanging on my every written word. Keeping the reply brief, I ended with a question to her, something I was sure would provoke further discussion between us.

Before I went to bed I turned my attention to the fish, a murderer among them, the others dumb to tell me who it was I should remove from the tank to save their scales. I had my suspicions about the blue and yellow one. He had this look in his eye.

Over the coming days and weeks I wrote to Sofia every night, and every morning I would arrive at my desk to find her reply. I tried to keep up my facade but it didn’t last long. She told me about her life, her formally abusive father, now infirm, whom she was caring for. I told her of mine, the daily grind of finding meaningful observation in things I considered to be useless and insignificant.

A change was happening to me with her every word, my colleagues finding less reward in sniggering behind my back, my editor feeling less power with every insult he threw at me. I didn’t give a fuck about them anymore. I had something else.

The day we finally met I had woken up to find only two remaining fish in the tank. The blue and yellow one was gone. I actually felt guilty for suspecting him. All that remained was the fluffy tailed one and the one with a deformed left fin. I had never suspected either, one for its beauty, the other for its disability. But soon enough I would know.

‘Let’s meet. Outside the market. Tonight. 8pm.’

I think I might have actually laughed out loud at first. But as the day nudged forward I began to worry. There was a part of me that had hoped this dialogue would never lead anywhere, because leading somewhere would mean new opportunities that I might fuck up. And then what? Back to the way things were? That could never happen. I couldn’t stomach it. I shouldn’t have to.

On the way home I worried what she might think of me. She had an idea what I looked like from my profile in the paper. I didn’t look much better or worse than that. And she had even heard my voice on the radio that time. But what of her?

I stopped in street outside the graveyard a few blocks from my house and realised something. I didn’t care. She could be fat, bald, made of wax or have whiskers growing from her elbows. But I was in love with her. Yes. I was in love with her and nothing else in the world mattered.

In the flat I looked for a particular tie, then a particular shirt, trying things on then throwing them down. The clock was edging ever nearer to 8 and I stuffed all the discarded outfits in the closet and walked to the door in the clothes I had been wearing all day. I had one last look around the flat, checking for details in case I might bring Sofia back with me tonight. I barely noticed that the fish tank was empty.

On the way I had worried that I would be late and started to run. I didn’t even have her phone number. What if she thought I was not coming?

At the crossroads I could see the market. There was nobody there. I checked the time and found I was five minutes early. I stopped for a minute to catch my breath, sweating all over. She can’t see me like this, I thought, I need to calm down. I leaned against the wall of a bar and tried to steady my breathing.

‘Hey.’ came a voice from the open window of the bar. ‘I was early. Come in.’

I indicated to the waiter that I was meeting someone. My shirt was covered in sweat but it was dark inside, the only light from tiny candles on tables. I had regained my confidence by the time I got to the corner of the room by the window. I looked around and there was only one set of eyes staring at me.

For the minutes it took the barman to bring my drink I tried to steal glimpses of her. Was she really this beautiful? She was staring at me the entire time, I couldn’t bring myself to focus.

After a couple of gins everything was starting to come together. She was everything I could have ever imagined. I could finally put a voice and a face to those letters. This was romance. This was what Hollywood dreamed about. My heart felt like it was going to beat a hole in my chest.

We were both quite tipsy by the time the bill came. Her face went cold and sour.

‘I don’t want to go back tonight. I don’t want to go back ever.’ I began to mumble how she could stay with me, how I would look after her. But Sofia was shaking her head. ‘Let’s go to Europe. Let’s go. Tonight.’

I thought about this for less than a second. I could leave this place and all the things I hate with this girl tonight. We could get the 5am boat to Cyprus. I have money, I have been saving. A new beginning with a new mind and a new way of thinking and a beautiful girl who loved me.

She paid the bill and we walked to my bank so I could draw out all the money we needed to get us there, stuffing it in my pockets like bits of newspaper.

On the way back to my flat she stopped outside the graveyard where I had realized I loved her.

‘You never did ask who Frederique Haley was.’

She led me through the gates, past gravestones and statues of angels. At an enclosed tomb that had been eaten away by storms she stopped and kneeled down, brushing away the dust from a plaque I could not read in the darkness.

‘He was a writer, his work kept me going though all these years.’ She looked at me nervously and then produced a camera from her bag. ‘Could I, take a picture of you here?’

I struck a few different poses as she was backing away trying to get the right frame. She kept moving, further and further, a sad look appearing on her face. I was about to suggest that the picture would look better from a different angle when she started to run. And then I felt the shadows moving in the darkness.

As the blood streamed down my face, and the two men took all that was in my pockets, I saw fish around my head. Swimming and swimming.

Beirut Beat 2011

Confessions of a 5 year old thief

On Sundays I would often go green grocery shopping with my parents. You may think this an activity not wildly anticipated by your average 5 year old. But the store where my Mother would buy broccoli and tomatoes and beans for the week was not your average grocery.

The ‘Farm Shop’ as it was unofficially known by the members of my family was located a pleasant 15 minute drive into the true countryside that bordered the suburban area where we lived. Whilst not quite an actual farm, the place had various docile animals, including a couple of chickens, a dog and a grumpy goose that would hang around the courtyard.

Once I had finished chasing these poor creatures around the yard I would join my parents inside the store and begin to graze from the ‘eating’ fruits, a stack of aging produce which the owners had deemed surplus to retail requirements. As I write these words I can’t help but pine for those simple days, when chasing a goose around a muddy yard followed by a feast of over-ripe bananas was enough to fill my heart with joy. But sometimes the simple things are not enough.

One fateful day whilst standing at the counter with my father, I felt myself gripped by an emotion which I now know to be the feeling of greed. Yes I had been allowed to chase poultry and yes I had been supplied with all the squishy strawberries I could eat. But I was not satisfied. I wanted more.

On the top of the counter were stacks of various crisps, sweets and other impulse-buy products. My eye had been caught by a packet of Foxes Glacier Mints, a brand of boiled sweets that feature an illustration of a polar bear on the label. A quick search online has informed me that these mints still exist today and that the polar bear’s name is ‘Peppy’.

Whilst my father was playing around in his wallet I stared longingly at Peppy the Polar Bear. I wanted those mints and I did not want to ask for them. As the grocer turned his back to me and I reached out and grabbed a packet, shoving them into my underpants before standing still and trying to look cool. By the time we got into the car my heart was beating so hard I was certain my parents could hear it from the front seat.

At bed time, after my mother had tucked me and kissed me good night, I reached under the pillow and slipped one of the stolen mints into my mouth. It tasted sweet. Far too sweet.

The next morning I smuggled the mints, again in my underpants, onto the school bus, where I planned to give them out to the other children. I did I not particularly enjoy their sickly taste but there was much more to it than that. The little packet of contraband had started to fill me with woe. They were a bloodied handkerchief which I must dispose of, the very thought of them down there next to my genitals causing me to shiver and sweat with guilt.

I handed the first few out with ease, giving free sweets away to children never being a particularly difficult task. I was even starting to feel popular until the boy sitting next to me, suspicious at my uncharacteristic generosity, piped up with a question. ‘Where did you get those sweets?’

Now, with over 2 decades of hindsight to mull this question over I could really have given many believable responses. But the paranoia of a 5 year old first-time thief had gotten the better of me. Had he been talking to the Farm Shop owners? Perhaps my parents had asked him to keep an eye on me? Maybe he will tell a teacher? I scowled at him and shoved the mints back in my pocket, returning them to the safe haven underneath my testicles when he was not looking.

Inside the classroom I could not concentrate. Those mints, those now very sweaty mints, throbbing, beating away like the tell-tale heart. I had to be rid of them. Excusing myself to the toilet, I found an enormous cabinet full of books in the corridor and threw them underneath. That old bookshelf had been sat there for years, it was so heavy that nobody could move it even if they wanted to. Or at least I thought.

And to cement my bad fortune, later on that morning, just when I thought I was safe, our matronly teacher Mrs Robinson decided she needed to move that fucking cabinet. She picked up the packet and showed it to the class. ‘Who do these belong to?’ I sat silently, biting the inside of my cheek.

‘They belong to Richard,’ squealed the boy from the bus, ‘Richard, Richard Jones’. A conspiracy for sure. She handed them back to me, the crotch sweat and dust from the floor now making them look far from edible. The wrapping paper around the sweets had been torn apart right up to Peppy’s image, obscuring his form slightly. It almost appeared as though he was grinning at me.

On the bus home I was beginning to feel desperate. But then lightning struck. The toilet! Of course. If it could successfully whisk away father’s gargantuan offerings to another dimension then it could surely make these damned sweets disappear.

I got inside the house and ran past my mother towards the stairs, desperate for the redemption of the flush. But before I got up the first step my mother called me back. ‘What are these?’ In my haste, Peppy had wriggled free of my scrotum, tumbled down my trouser leg and was now lying on the hallway floor between myself and my mother.

We stared at each other for what felt like hours, whilst I opened my mouth and closed it again like a goldfish, trying in vain to formulate a decent explanation. ‘Well…’ I said finally, and then burst into a flood of tears.

I never got to chase the grumpy goose ever again.

By Beirut Beat

Beirut Street Fashion pt1 Habib

Habib – Taxi Driver 56

Habib knows he is one hot bitch.

So tell us about your wake up routine

Its takes me about an hour to get ready each morning. You’ve got to look good when you pick up as many people a day as I do. While I am having a coffee I do my morning exercise of beeping my car horn repeatedly for about 20 minutes. It’s important to stay in shape.

Your style is unique because…

I prefer customized 35 year-old cloth shirts. The way my wife stitches up the holes in the armpits makes me really stand out from the crowd. I see other drivers checking me out when I stop to fill up the cab with gas and I know they’re wishing they could pull off a look like mine. Some people just have it.

To shave or not to shave?

The moustache actually came with the 1950s Mercedes but I make sure that I comb it downwards with my finger nails 100 times after a shower to get that lip-hugging volume. I like to think I have taken it to the next level with the grey bristle that curls up at the sides.

Any skincare secrets?

My complexion requires me to smoke at least 60 counterfeit cigarettes per hour, but we all have our little vices. I also treat myself a manou’she-wrapper face mask at least once a week to ease away the stress of shouting obscenities at other drivers all day.

Your perfect passenger

Anyone with no baggage who just wants to ride and ride…

 

by Beirut Beat